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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Must be a Boy thing...

Oggie is a messy baby.

As much as I detest labeling, especially in a sweeping-generalization kind of way, I have to admit that Oggie leaves me very little wiggle-room in this case.

Oh, and the fact that he just turned one is something I choose to ignore.

Mealtimes bring out the best, or worst, depending on how you see it. Agreed I could make it easy on me, fight every step and spoon-feed him till I feel he can eat with some steadiness, but, the masochist in me whole-heartedly encourages his new-found independence.

I sit by him, of course, show him how Ana is eating right across the table from him, helpfully fill the spoon so he can take it to his mouth, and dutifully flash a huge smile when he manages to get some food into his baby mouth.

However, after the first couple of attempts, the spoon becomes a terribly distracting toy, and an impossibly difficult one to pry out of his little fist. As he resorts to God-given fingers of the free hand to scoop up the mashed potatoes or mashed rice+spinach+carrots+dal+peas or lumpy macaroni-and-cheese, or gooey breakfast oatmeal, I watch with mounting anguish how he enjoys smearing it all over his hair and face, and spread it all over his tray with both palms moving so fast that it is all such  a blur.

Keeping an eye on how much of the meal actually goes inside him rather than on his hair, face, chest, shirt, seat, and the floor around him, I attempt to feed him any which way I can, only to be ruthlessly thwarted by the swat-and-look-away maneuver he has mastered to perfection.

The damp chillness, (despite the gas furnace steadfastly attempting to keep the house at a temperate 65°F), makes me think twice about stripping him down to his cloth diaper for each meal. Not that I didn't try, but, the couple of times I did, the goosebump-y skin and ice-cold little body made me wonder if I'd enjoy being dressed the same way while I try to ingest the much-needed nourishment. So, I leave the shirt on, shirts can be washed... well, so can the baby, but not at 7:45 am rush to get him to daycare.

Ever heard of Bibs? you ask... Fair enough. For some reason, Oggie has shown such dislike for these eyesores with great animosity that it feels cruel to strap it on... not that that has stopped me, mind you. I do velcro it on, and for some reason, the ones I have (hand-me-downs) slip off into his forceful hands without much fight to end up on the floor in about half a second after I turn away triumphantly having managed to get it on in the first place.

No, never wanted to use the ones that tie back, ties are evil. I thought about sewing a few, or replacing the velcro on the ones I have, but, such luxuries are so far down on my To-Do list that by the time I get to it Oggie would have graduated High School.

Oh, and every other day he likes to rearrange my lower kitchen cupboards, and scatter my pots and pans about just to keep me on my toes. Literally. He probably likes to laugh at the ballerina-style sautée I have to adopt to navigate the teeming kitchen floor.

I don't even want to get started on finger-painting enterprise. How the bright pigments end up on everything but the paper I give him is a mystery. No mat can confine Oggie's creativity, for sure.

Now that I think about it, I was spoilt by baby Ana. Prissy little thing that she is, her fastidious need for order and cleanliness manifested itself from infanthood. She fed herself like a proper lady from around 18 months onwards, whenever she would condescend to eat, I should hasten to add. I used to spread a mat under her chair for easy clean up, but, never had to pick it up and shake off any fallen meal, except to keep up the look of the thing. And, even tempera paints managed to stay off the mat, although some did get in her mouth out of necessary curiosity.

I am tempted to think it is a Boy thing... and, his boy genes probably didn't come from me, therefore I couldn't have passed on this inherent messiness inadvertently now, could I?!

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4 Comments:

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Kodi's Mom said...

of course its not your fault, dad's got to take the blame for a thing or two, doesn't he? :) have you tried old, oversized t-shirts/polo shirts (yours, Ana's) on him for mealtimes? they've worked best for K frm babyhood upto last yr.

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

HI Kodi's Mom, ya, ana's shirts work great sometimes, but what gets me is how he loves to smear stuff on his head - almost as if he knows anywhere else is easily cleanable...

even if i stay firm and feed him myself in the morning rush, he sticks his hand in his mouth, collects a handful and rubs it almost ceremonially over his head and face, watching me with a naughty twinkle while doing it almost defying me openly at this tender age!

wet towel hair wipe-downs have started to leave his hair matted and gross - so he sports an oily grease-head to daycare :)

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger IBH said...

it is like reading my own story here Sheela! just that it is not only just boy thing...but a girl thing as well :) my daughter is as messy as you could think!

and she goes the same way to day care the way you have described Oggie, going to daycare :)

I feel ya! :)

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Gosh, thanks IBH! Well, it blows my theory a bit, but, glad to see I am not alone :)

 

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